When it comes to easing our way back into exercise, there are a few key things we need to take into account and that can make all the difference down the track.
1. Don't Compare Your Journey
We are all unique and different. Each pregnancy is different, each birth is different, each baby is different, and each household is different. Focus on meeting yourself where YOU are currently at and creating YOUR OWN happy healthy balance. There is no ‘one size fits all’ – everyone’s journey and time frame is different.
2. Your 6-Week Check Is Not Enough
When a woman goes through her six-week check-up with her caregiver, much of this appointment may be focused on her baby.
Things like a pelvic floor assessment and abdominal separation check are not standardised assessments.
Making an appointment with a women's health physiotherapist at around the same time as your six-week check is a really great and proactive step into ensuring you understand your body from the inside out.
3. Build Solid Foundations First
Typically, the ‘foundation’ stuff is viewed as ‘the boring stuff’ but, boring things are important.
Solid foundations allow you to move on to doing the harder or fun stuff safely. And there’s no time limit on building (or re-building) these foundations either.
You may ‘get back’ into regular exercise at 4 months post-natal, or it might not be till 10months, or even 10 years post-natal.
Gently starting (or re-starting) your fitness journey by focusing on building those solid foundations is critical.
4. Something Is Better Than Nothing
There will rarely (maybe never) be a perfect time. There will usually (maybe always) be frustrations to deal with.
You don’t need to achieve all your health and fitness goals in the first two weeks or two months – in fact, you don’t even need to set and smash fitness goals at all if you don’t want to.
Ditch that all-or-nothing mentality and embrace the messier ‘something is better than nothing’ mentality.
Because how you approach your health (mentally, emotionally, physically) makes a HUGE difference.
5. All Trainers Aren’t Educated The Same
Checking up on trainers’ experience and credentials can be a really great way of ensuring you get a specialised and safe workout.
Unfortunately, things like pelvic floor function and post-natal return to exercise are NOT covered in very much detail in MOST fitness trainer courses so specialised training is required.
This trainer knowledge and understanding is important because if your pelvic floor muscles ARE strengthened after the birth, there will be less risk of ongoing tension on the ligaments supporting your pelvic organs, and therefore less risk of developing a prolapse in the future.
Do you need some support with a return to exercise after pregnancy? If yes - please reach out for a more personalised chat!